Maria Klara Kuss is IDS Alumni Ambassador, Germany.
Maria Klara is currently pursuing her PhD in Public Policy and Policy Analysis at the United Nations University MERIT’s Graduate School of Governance.
Maria Klara specialises in Political Economy, Governance, Social Policy, Social Protection, and Gender. Her PhD research is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on anthropological and sociological approaches to public policy analysis. It analyses the de facto negotiations of Zambia’s welfare regime with a focus on the transformative impacts of social cash transfers. This research evolved from her earlier work at the IDS where she was part of a UNICEF-funded research project on the views, experiences and perceptions of social cash transfer recipients and their communities in Zambia. Moreover, it builds on her practical experience in living and working in Zambia, gained through her involvement as advisor for the GIZ.
Maria Klara holds a MA degree in Governance and Development (2013) from IDS and a BA degree in Social Work. She has worked with numerous national and international organisations (including INCLUDE/NWO, UNICEF, OECD, UNIFEM and GIZ) conducting research, consultancy and advisory work in social protection, change and continuity, poverty, rural livelihoods and gender in Zambia, Uganda, Panama and other developing countries. Her expertise includes: designing and conducting qualitative research, combining quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods; fieldwork and supervision of local fieldwork teams, policy advice and evaluation work; project management; workshop facilitation, and teaching. She currently lives in Germany near the Dutch and Belgian border and is travelling frequently to the Netherlands, Zambia, Puerto Rico and the UK.